One thousand words. photo by Hall Anderson


Ray as a dock vendor, summer of 1983. Photo by Hall Anderson.


Ray's very first Red Snapper ( AKA Yelloweye Rockfish) circa 1984. Photo by Hall Anderson.


Dr. Troll urges everyone to do a good deed for a spiny lumpsucker today.
Photo by Clark Mishler.




About “fin” artist Ray Troll:

 From his tree lined studio, high on a hill above the Tongass Narrows in rain-swept Ketchikan Alaska, Ray Troll draws & paints fishy images that migrate into museums, books and magazines and onto t-shirts sold around the planet. Basing his quirky, aquatic images on the latest scientific discoveries, Ray brings a street-smart sensibility to the worlds of ichthyology & paleontology.

 Ray moved to Alaska in 1983 to spend a summer helping his big sister Kate start a seafood retail store. The fish store is long gone but Ray is not. There's something about Alaska that has led four of the Troll siblings to call the state ‘home’.

 Ray earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas in 1977 and an MFA in studio arts from Washington State University in 1981. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the University of Alaska Southeast. In 2007 he was given a gold medal for ‘distinction in the natural history arts’ by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and in 2006 was given the Alaska Governor’s award for the arts.

In 2011 Ray and Kirk Johnson were jointly awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Science Writing category to support their ambitious book project, “The  Eternal Coastline: the Best of the Fossil West from Baja to Barrow”.

 Troll's unique blend of art and science culminated in his traveling exhibit, "Dancing to the Fossil Record," a major show that opened at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco in 1995. The huge exhibit included Ray's original drawings, gigantic fossils, fish tanks, murals, an original soundtrack, a dance floor an interactive computer installation and the infamous “Evolvo” art car. In 1997 the exhibit traveled to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and in 1998 it hit the streets of Philadelphia at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The tour ended in 1999 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. By that time it had grown to 14,000 square feet.

 Ray followed that tour a few years later with "Sharkabet, a Sea of Sharks from A to Z". Venues included the Science Museum of Minnesota , the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the Alaska State Museum and the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.

 Ray went on to act as the art director for the Miami Museum of Science’s Amazon Voyage traveling exhibit and now has yet another touring show based on his book Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with Dr. Kirk Johnson.

He and his wife Michelle run the Soho Coho gallery in Ketchikan appropriately situated in an old historic house of ill repute located on a salmon spawning stream. Ray believes that everyone should be in a band regardless of talent or ambition. Holding true to that ethic he helps lead a band of musical renegades called the Ratfish Wranglers.

 He has appeared on the Discovery Channel, lectured at Cornell, Harvard and Yale, shown work at the Smithsonian and has even had a ratfish named after him ( a New Zealand species called Hydrolagus trolli ). Not too bad for a t-shirt wearing kinda’ guy.


Contact Information:

Mailing Address:
Ray Troll,
P.O. Box 8874
Ketchikan, AK 99901 U.S.A.

For UPS and Fedex only use:
Ray Troll c/o the Soho Coho
# 5 Creek Street
Ketchikan, AK 99901

Phone: 907-225-5954
Fax: 907-225-9195

Email Ray:

Exhibits and NewsBrad Matsen's BioKirk Johnson's BioSean Duran's Bio

StoreNewsGalleryBiographyContactLinksMusicHomeFossil FreewayAlaskaAmazonEvolutionSharks!StrangePlanet Ocean

All artwork on this website © Ray Troll 2009. Contact the artist directly for permission/usage fees.